Final Verdict: Choking on Malpractice

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Final Verdict: Choking on Malpractice

Everyone with a driver’s license knows there are certain basic rules which apply regardless of where they are. You have to stay on your side of the street, except to pass. You should obey the speed limit. You have to keep your seatbelt fastened at all times. You need to look left, then right, then left again before you pull out across a busy intersection. Final Verdict: Choking on Malpractice

In the same way, anyone with a medical license knows that certain basic rules should be followed with every medical procedure. Certain signs that point to stroke or heart attack always require immediate intervention. Suspicious symptoms need to be checked before releasing a patient. When a patient is undergoing anesthesia, the airway has to be protected to prevent choking. An anesthesiologist who failed to protect a patient’s airway during surgery, leading to that patient’s death, was slapped with medical malpractice damages of over $3.4 million by a Fairfax County jury in January 2019.

On February 20 of 2015, 28-year-old Vincent Minor was admitted to the surgical unit at INOVA Fairfax Hospital for removal of a laparoscopic adjustable band (lap band) placed during gastric bypass surgery. A lap band is a device which constricts the upper part of the stomach, assisting in weight loss for obese individuals who are unable to lose weight in other ways. Vincent had tolerated the lap band well for eleven years, but went to the hospital in February 2015 with nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and difficulty swallowing.

A CT scan by the hospital doctors showed that the lap band had come loose, slipping out of place and causing herniation in the stomach. Additionally, its placement was causing Vincent’s esophagus (the lower part of the throat that connects to the stomach) to swell. The band needed to be immediately removed, and Vincent was moved into surgery right away.

A major risk of any surgery involving general anesthesia (putting the patient to sleep) involves aspiration. With reflexes and consciousness suppressed, the patient can involuntarily vomit stomach contents up the esophagus and into the airways, leading to liquids or solids blocking the bronchi and lungs. Stomach acid is corrosive, and so this often leads to a condition called aspiration pneumonia, in which the damaged lung tissue becomes saturated with fluid and cannot respirate.

In order to prevent aspiration, an anesthesiologist should suction out the stomach and be ready to put in a breathing tube at any time. However, in Vincent’s case, the surgery proceeded without these precautions. When Vincent began vomiting during the procedure, they continued with the surgery. The aspiration of vomit caused pneumonitis, or increased inflammation of lung tissue, and went into acute respiratory distress.

After the surgery, Vincent was unable to breathe normally and was placed on a ventilator. He died a month later, and the family sued for medical malpractice. During the week-long trial, Vincent’s family used medical malpractice attorneys like  Cohen & Cohen to argue that the doctors were negligent by failing to assess the risks of aspiration and failing to protect Vincent. The jury agreed. After only three hours, they returned a verdict which found significant medical malpractice and awarded $3,401,451.00 in damages for wrongful death and surgical error.

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Cohen & Cohen has an  impeccable Client Satisfaction Rating with hundreds of
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L Proctor
August 30, 2022.
My experience with Cohen &Cohen was beyond my expectations. Jill did an amazing job with negotiating on my behalf and got me way more money than I anticipated. Thank you for having my back.
Ebony Stoutmiles
June 23, 2022.
To say that I am happy with the outcome of my case is the understatement of the century! Jill Stanley is a BEAST at what she does. That is the only way to explain it. She takes no prisoners. She and her team are very skilled and knowledgeable. I am so happy I trusted them to do their job and rolled with Jill's suggestions. I would choose Jill again 100 times. She settled my case for more than I imagined I would receive. I was literally in tears. It is the best feeling to know my pain isn't for naught. Wayne Cohen and Kristopher Yorke were nothing short of amazing. They have the patience of saints. I'm 100% certain that I got on their last nerves with my frustration and tears at every other call I had with them. Being in pain and wanting to just be able to heal was all I could focus on, but they helped me realize that I also had to focus on the bigger picture (the case) so I could put this piece behind me. As a high-strung individual with anxiety, it was hard for me to not worry and let them do their jobs, but they reassured me all of the time that they had this. To be injured before the start of the pandemic and have to receive regular, weekly treatment while others are able to stay home is anxiety inducing. I was in pain, I was anxious, and I was just hoping it all worked out. It more than worked out. I hope Jill, Siri, and Kris know how much their hard work and "hanging in there" meant to me. I am eternally grateful. I can't recommend you all enough. If you choose this law firm, you won't be sorry!
Beloved Temple
June 3, 2022.
I was very pleased with the handling of my case and settlement with Cohen& Cohen. I appreciate them, would highly recommend them.
willie howell
May 25, 2022.
COHEN & COHEN ARE THE BEST I WAS INVOLVED IN A REAR END CAR CRASH AND 2 YEARS LATER I HAVE RECEIVED MY SETTLEMENT I AM VERY EXCITED TO SAY BRYAN!!! IS THE MAN HE INSURED THEY WILL TAKE CARE OF ME AND THEY DID 100% ANY QUESTIONS I ASKED THEY WERE ANSWERED. Jill and SIRI WAS ALSO REMARKABLE AND SHOWED THEY REALLY CARED I RECOMMEND COHEN &COHEN TO ANYONE THEY ALSO MADE SURE I GOT MORE THAN EXPECTED WHICH WAS AMAZING I APPRECIATE YOU GUYS THANK U💯
Jose Rivera
May 25, 2022.
The legal team at cohen & cohen did a great job I really appreciate the hard work on gating my compensation in a fair amount of time. Special thanks to Kris for a wonderful job
Lea Harvey
May 25, 2022.
I had a great experience with the team at Cohen & Cohen. From my intake attorney, Adam, to the paralegal, Bryan, who worked with me regularly for months to document and prepare my case, to Jill, the attorney who secured my settlement, I feel fortunate to have had their representation and expertise on my side.
Cameron Galloway (HustleDaGod)
May 19, 2022.
Kris was phenomenal. Spectacular communication & knowledge in regards to my case. Would definitely return if I needed more legal services. 100% definitely recommend.

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